Film: The Accidental Prime Minister
Cast: Anupam Kher, Akshaye Khanna, Arjun Mathur, Aahana Kamra, Suzanne Bernert, Vipin Sharma, Divya Seth
Director: Vijay Gutte
Rating: * ½
There’s nothing accidental about this film adaptation of journalist Sanjaya Baru’s ‘novel’ attempt at self-importance. He might call it a memoir but his book reads like a rant against the team that got him out of the PMO.
The book may make interesting reading but the film on it, represents premeditated, trashy, one-sided lampooning of the Congress Party that Sanjaya Baru appears to hold responsible for his fall from grace.
The film actually names political leaders while showing them playing out their machinations – but there’s hardly any connect between Sanjaya’s (Akshaye Khanna) commentary as the Sutradhar here and what actually went on in the political circles surrounding him (as evidenced in the film). It feels like he is putting two and two together to make five. The script by Vijay Gutte, Mayank Tiwari, Aditya Sinha and Karl Dunne, puts forward an interpretation that lacks validation and appears entirely contrived. Baru, must have been understandably peeved to be shunted out from a plum posting, but to turn his angst into a vendetta spiel against the Gandhis derides his own standing as a journalist.
The film, in fact, presents a contradictory viewpoint on what is constitutional or not, vis-à-vis Sonia Gandhi’s alleged supremo position as Chairperson of the UPA-1 advisory committee. Stock footage imprints the BJP’s largely political argument against that elevation and Baru’s book, and the script merely plays along that tune.
There’s no fleshing out of characters, no development as such – just a larger than life dose of caricaturing better suited to a puppet show than a gritty expose. Even performances are of the same nature – especially those representing the Gandhi family and Manmohan Singh.
This is undoubtedly Anupam Kher’s worst performance ever as an actor. Instead of belittling the legend (which this entire exercise appears to be engineered towards), he ends up demeaning his own talents. Even Akshaye Khanna’s sartorially suave, paradoxically toned performance can’t save this film from being relegated to the dustbin of history!